At first glance, Saltwolf looks familiar. It’s a digitally native furniture brand promising a convenient shopping experience and quick turnaround times, no pernicious middlemen involved. The pieces are simple but stylish, offered in linen, leather and performance velvet. The plan is to market the line on social media. One could be forgiven for lumping the brand in with any number of direct-to-consumer furniture companies that have launched over the past decade. The twist? Saltwolf isn’t for consumers. It is selling to designers, and designers only.
No surprise, then, that Saltwolf was born not out of a Silicon Valley coworking space, but a design firm in Boulder, Colorado. Lindy and Jordan Williams, the married couple behind the venture, conceived of the idea after frequently encountering the same frustrations in their own design practice, Westward Foundry. Chief among them? Their clients, trained on the speed and convenience of e-commerce, were balking at the slow pace of to-the-trade makers.
“We had a few projects in a row where we lost business because of the timeline,” says Lindy. “[We’d say], ‘Here’s this beautiful piece, it’s really well made, here’s the price point.’ The client would say, ‘Great. How long is it going to take?’ We’d say, ‘Eight to 10 weeks, but it’s usually more like 10 to 12, and if we want to pick our own fabrics, it’s about four months.’ Their jaw would drop.”